Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1994
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger 1999-2004
Previous Committee Decisions see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/684/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 116,739
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/684/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
January 2003: World Heritage Centre / IUCN reactive monitoring mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/684/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014
On 31 January 2014, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/684/documents. Progress with a number of conservation issues raised by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report:
The report also notes the development of a mini-hydropower facility inside the property, and a detailed Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) on the project was submitted by the State Party following a letter from the World Heritage Centre.
The State Party Report does not clarify if the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Mountains Specialist group has been contacted by the State Party, as recommended by Decision 36 COM 7B.4. The report further indicates that the Government has signed a 25 year concession agreement with a Chinese company, Tibet Hima Ltd to re-open Kilembe copper mine. This concession could involve re-opening mine shafts within the property, as well as carrying out further exploration and development. The State Party also mentions concerns of potential pollution of rivers in the wider ecosystem.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
The State Party has made significant progress in engaging local communities through participation in management, formal resource user agreements, funding of community development activities through revenue-sharing, recognition of traditional cultural values and access rights, training in tourism-related services, and a constructive approach to resolving human-wildlife conflict.
The strong commitment of the authorities to working collaboratively with stakeholders in achieving conservation goals and maintaining the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is also recognized. This has resulted in significant investment in development of a business plan; visitor infrastructure; further improvements in community outreach; improved monitoring and research (especially related to climate change impacts); and a series of joint patrols along the border with the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This trans-boundary collaboration should be further enhanced through the establishment of a more formal protocol between the States Parties of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as recommended by Decision 36 COM 7B.4, as well as a more targeted approach to identified challenges such as communication, staff movement restrictions at the borders and mutual understanding of the respective legal frameworks.
The completion of a comprehensive ecological monitoring plan, further progress towards the development of a sustainable financing/business plan for the property and the measures taken to strengthen management effectiveness are acknowledged. It is also noted that the management plan for the property is due for revision in 2015. The areas affected by the high-elevation fires of 2011 are reported to be recovering well. Fire prevention procedures have been improved, and a fire plan has been drafted and is being implemented in cooperation with the local communities.
The ESIA for the proposed small-scale hydro-power generating facility includes a specific assessment of impacts on the OUV, and is currently under review by IUCN. It is noted that the ESIA report for this development should have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre before the final decision, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.
It is recommended that the Committee expresses its utmost concern about the decision to award a 25 year concession agreement to re-open the Kilembe copper mine around and potentially inside the property. Mining inside the property would be incompatible with its World Heritage status. The area potentially affected (the Nyamwamba Valley) is one of the few lower-altitude parts of the property, a last stronghold of endangered and endemic species. Before mining activity is resumed outside the property, a detailed environmental impact assessment should be conducted to asses the potential impacts on the OUV of the property in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.
Decision Adopted: 38 COM 7B.93
The World Heritage Committee,